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September 30, 2014

Fall Layers: Professional Work Wear Made Easy

Playing with layers is an ideal way to dress for work. It automatically creates a more buttoned-up appearance that is both professional and stylishly modern. We’ve scoured the market to find the best pieces that will do most of the work for you – and take the guesswork out of how to create that effortless look. Isn’t that what we strive when we’re rushing to get out of the house in the morning? They may also inspire you to understand how to take pieces that already exist in your wardrobe and wear them in combinations you hadn’t already imagined. With the weather getting cooler, the layered look allows us to still wear more ladylike fabrics and pair them with things that will actually keep us warm. This is also a perfect opportunity to try the cropped top that is everywhere. Our sartorial take on that silhouette is to pair it with a longer top underneath – all of a sudden, you have a demurely sophisticated look that is well thought out and still timeless.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Check back tomorrow for "Fall Layers: Unexpected Femininity for Cool & Cozy Nights" and Thursday for the "Fall Layers: Nonchalantly Cool…and Even Concealing, which Never Hurts". Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered.
http://www.shopbop.com/looker-crewneck-sweater-brochu-walker/vp/v=1/1598658918.htm
http://www.shopbop.com/looker-crewneck-sweater-brochu-walker/vp/v=1/1598658918.htm
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Brochu Walker - Looker Crew Neck Sweater
Looker Crew Neck Sweater
Brochu Walker
Sold by: Shopbop

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As we mentioned in this week’s Clothes & Conversation, the layering of a woven shirt under a sweater is the perfect interpretation of the layering trend for the Mark Shale lady. It’s stylish and modern, yet classic and sleek. Brochu Walker is known for their elevated and luxurious modern-fitting designs. So, of course, their version is not only in the softest wool and cashmere, but the shirttail and cuffs are done in an absolutely lovely white chiffon that is so perfect for work. When you click through the “shop it” button, you can see the striking black and white version, as well as an additional image of the back, showing off the slit detail in the hem on the back. No detail is unnoticed on this sweater. While Shopbop shows it with jeans, we suggest pairing this piece with your favorite black or camel trousers or pencil skirt, and you are set. This would look great with a plaid or houndstooth as well.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446711500 Elie Tahari - Raleigh Blouse-Detail Cashmere Sweater
Elie Tahari - Raleigh Blouse-Detail Cashmere Sweater
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Elie Tahari - Raleigh Blouse-Detail Cashmere Sweater
Raleigh Blouse-Detail Cashmere Sweater
Elie Tahari
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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With turtlenecks being such an important silhouette this season, as well as cropped tops, this Elie Tahari cashmere sweater, worn as a layer over a longer button-down shirt is spot-on. These pieces are attached, but no one would ever know. The shirttail on this one is longer (and split in the back), and the sweater a bit shorter than the Brochu Walker sweater we’re featuring, yet it is just as flattering. This styling provides the slightest bit of edge, while also elongating the torso, since the sweater breaks higher (great if you don’t have a large chest). The detail is so pretty with the covered darker placket and elongated ribbed cuffs of the sleeves, and looks great with slim trousers to balance the ease flow of this sweater combination.
http://www.shopthreedots.com/custompages/threedots/34-sleeve-fitted-top-PID27601-EQ2241W.aspx Three Dots - 3/4 Sleeve Fitted Top with Collar
Three Dots - 3/4 Sleeve Fitted Top with Collar
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Three Dots - 3/4 Sleeve Fitted Top with Collar
3/4 Sleeve Fitted Top with Collar
Three Dots
Sold by: Three Dots

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Three Dots, known for their elevated and easy knits, has the softest (we mean it, you will not believe how soft this is) version of a sweater/shirt layered combination. Their sweater is brushed to soft perfection and the collar is a lovely silk. It comes in black, too, but we like the way the pale grey shows off the soft fabric and allows the collar to pop. It also then pairs effortlessly with any black bottoms you already own (especially, a pencil skirt).
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446729686 Cut25 by Yigal Azrouël - Asymmetrical Pleated-Front Stretch Jersey Dress
Cut25 by Yigal Azrouël - Asymmetrical Pleated-Front Stretch Jersey Dress
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Cut25 by Yigal Azrouël - Asymmetrical Pleated-Front Stretch Jersey Dress
Asymmetrical Pleated-Front Stretch Jersey Dress
Cut25 by Yigal Azrouël
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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There have been lots of oohhhs’ and aahhh’s in the office over this gorgeous contemporary dress from Cut25. If you’re not familiar with the line, it’s actually produced in New York City, clearly reflected in its sleek and urbane vibe. This dress is such a stunner. First of all, the color is amazing – deep red that is so subtle and current. And then there is the asymmetrical stitching across the body that cleverly creates an hourglass shape – for you and the dress. It’s lined for comfort and to help keep things smooth looking. And the icing on the cake? The black contrast accent at the neckline, so it looks like you are wearing something underneath…just a clever style nod that really steps up the sophistication. Sizes are going fast – you may find more here. It looks great with black stocking and heels or tights and heeled booties. If you are more comfortable in a fit-and-flare style (which looks great on someone with more of a pear shape), Cynthia Steffe delivers with this black-and-white knit dress.
http://www.cusp.com/Diane-von-Furstenberg-Long-Sleeve-Combo-Sheath-Dress/prod14250009_cat2240001__/p.prod? Diane von Furstenberg - Long-Sleeve Combo Sheath Dress
Diane von Furstenberg - Long-Sleeve Combo Sheath Dress
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Diane von Furstenberg - Long-Sleeve Combo Sheath Dress
Long-Sleeve Combo Sheath Dress
Diane von Furstenberg
Sold by: Cusp

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Simply a dream for the office, this modern-fitting dress looks like a sheath with a cardigan and belt over it…but, of course, since it’s from DVF , who is so clever with her prints, you won’t need to mess with any of that. It’s all one simple – and timelessly elegant piece of career wear. The belt detail carries over to the back of the dress, which is so slimming, while the print ends just at the hip – another eye trick to slim the area. You need to do nothing but add a great pair of pumps, and leave the house feeling confident.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eliza-j-knit-fit-flare-dress/3756712 Eliza J - Knit Fit & Flare Dress
Eliza J - Knit Fit & Flare Dress
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Eliza J - Knit Fit & Flare Dress
Knit Fit & Flare Dress
Eliza J
Sold by: Nordstrom

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The pricing of Eliza J’s dresses always blows our minds – especially when you see the modern styling and really nice quality they offer. This dress, in its large array of sizes, is ideal for work. It looks like a sweater with a skirt, but its all one gloriously easy dress. The ribbed waist detail hits at the smallest part of your torso and the black swingy bottom further highlights – and creates – a slim waistline.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Vince-Jersey-V-Neck-Dress-Slim-Ribbed-Knit-Turtleneck/prod171440044_cat13770760__/p.prod Vince - Jersey Short-Sleeve V-Neck Dress
Vince - Jersey Short-Sleeve V-Neck Dress
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Vince - Jersey Short-Sleeve V-Neck Dress
Jersey Short-Sleeve V-Neck Dress
Vince
Sold by: Neiman Marcus

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Fit Guide
Vince’s slightly sporty and clean aesthetic is always a favorite at Mark Shale and we love what they’ve done with this loose fitting jersey dress. It is a roomy silhouette in Vince’s typically easy, contemporary styling – if you’re between sizes, size down. Add a skinny belt if you want to give it some shape, but we prefer just adding a slim fitting foundation layer, as shown here with this great fitted black turtleneck (which can be purchased through the “shop it” button, as well). It reveals a slimmer form, while allowing you all the benefits of a looser fitting dress for a long day at the office. The dress is not too thin though, so it won’t cling to your base layer, which is key. This easily transitions to an evening out in its very of-the-season cobalt blue that is downright fabulous. Lafayette 148 New York does a charcoal version, if you are looking for more of a modern, classic fit. You should style it just the same.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446734368 Lafayette 148 New York - Wool Asymmetrical Dress
Lafayette 148 New York - Wool Asymmetrical Dress
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Lafayette 148 New York - Wool Asymmetrical Dress
Wool Asymmetrical Dress
Lafayette 148 New York
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Asymmetrical hemlines and wrap styling are more ways to create the look of layering that is so simple and easy. Lafayette 148 New York shows this off in an effortless charcoal work dress that will be just as stylish in years to come as it is right now. The Italian wool is of the finest quality, but it’s the beautifully modern fit and sophisticated styling that draws us in and makes it an ideal dress for the office. The drape of the neckline balances the drape of the skirt, which Lafayette cleverly accentuated with a slanted seam at the waist that is oh so slimming.
http://www.revolveclothing.com/enza-costa-cashmere-midi-skirt-in-charcoal/dp/ENZA-WQ10/ Enza Costa - Cashmere Midi Skirt
Enza Costa - Cashmere Midi Skirt
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Enza Costa - Cashmere Midi Skirt
Cashmere Midi Skirt
Enza Costa
Sold by: Revolve Clothing

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Wrap styling can often create an opening that starts higher on the leg than we are comfortable with for work. Enza Costa eliminates that problem while creating beautiful interest in their so soft and comfortable cashmere faux wrap skirt – another great take on layering for this season. It is soft and stretchy in a pull-on style with a nice weight. It is slim enough to pair nicely with a blazer and blouse for more of a classic work look, but a slouchy sweater looks equally work appropriate in a more creative space.

http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/Thakoon-Addition-Pinstripe-Draped-Wrap-Skirt/prod101060006_cat276832__/p.prod Thakoon Addition - Pinstripe Draped Wrap Skirt
Thakoon Addition - Pinstripe Draped Wrap Skirt
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Thakoon Addition - Pinstripe Draped Wrap Skirt
Pinstripe Draped Wrap Skirt
Thakoon Addition
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Let’s put aside any initial doubts you might have about this skirt (and know that we had absolutely none from the very start)...1. It is not tricky to wear. Thakoon Addition is the diffusion line from the high-end designer, Thakoon, offering the same ladylike styling with innovative prints and fabrics. This skirt clearly displays that, stitching the fabric just perfectly to create the look of layering and wrapping, but all you have to do is zip it up. 2. It does not add bulk. Quite the opposite – its very slimming, while it conceals and smooths any lumps or bumps you are concerned about. The drapes of fabrics hit in just the right spots. 3. The pinstripe fabric makes it perfectly work appropriate, and won’t be this short on most of us (the model is 5’9” in a size 2). 4. We love it so much, we suggest you check out the plaid version, too. It’s slightly shorter and a bit more contemporary in feel with its mixed fabrications.

https://www.shopbop.com/camelia-pantalone-otto-dame/vp/v=1/1500929504.htm Otto d'ame - Camelia Pants
 Otto d'ame   - Camelia Pants
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 Otto d'ame   - Camelia Pants
Camelia Pants
Otto d'ame
Sold by: Shopbop

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We talked about this pant and skirt combination in the grey color a couple of weeks ago, and it is so fabulous – not to mention a perfect example of layering – that we had to show you the black version this week. Don’t dismiss this as too edgy, if you are more of a classic person. Keep looking. The layering of the skirt and slim pant are stylish – but not trendy. Since they are actually 2 separate pieces, we love wearing them apart, as much as we do together. (Wear tights or leggings, with the skirt when on its own, it does have slits on the sides.) They both have elastic waists, and stretch fabric, so they’re very comfortable. The brand is Italian, so note the size scale conversion through the "shop it" button (38=2, 48=12). The pinstriping is burgundy and white so the pieces look amazing with a crisp white shirt or soft burgundy sweater.
 

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